New Strategies for Emerging Domestic Sovereign Bond Markets in the Global


Measures of original sin by country


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Measures of original sin by country 

groupings (average)

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

1.2

Latin


America

Middle


East &

Africa


Other

Dev eloped

Financial

Centers


O

rig

in

a

l S

in

 I

n

d

e

1 993-1998

1 999-2001

 

Source: OECD Development Centre, 2007; based on Eichengreen, B. Hausmann, R. and U. 

Panizza (2003); and Eichengreen and Hausmann (2005). 

 

The Original Sin Index for country i is defined as: 



                                       (1) 

In all crisis episodes, both the unsound structure of outstanding debt and 

the underdeveloped stage of bond markets played a significant role, sometimes, 

like in the Asian crisis, a decisive one.  

As in the period phase of financial globalisation, financial crisis, original 

sins or home bias, have been also common in the more recent one. The current 

phase is in many aspects quite comparable to the previous one.  There has been 

however many developments that deserve attention and have been reshaping the 

way to deal with risk debt management in emerging countries as we want to stress 

in the following section.   

The key challenge for emerging market policy makers: underdeveloped 

bond markets and a vulnerable risk profile. 

  







=



0

,

1



i

i

i

country

by

issued

Securities

currency

in

Securities

Max

OSIN

13

Blommestein and Santiso: New Strategies for Emerging Domestic Sovereign Bond Markets



Published by The Berkeley Electronic Press, 2007


Until the late 1990s, domestic fixed-income securities markets were 

relatively underdeveloped in many countries in Latin America, Asia, emerging 

Europe and Africa. In mid-1990s, total outstanding domestic debt securities in 

emerging markets were only 20 per cent. This situation had led to an excessive 

reliance on foreign financing

14

 (direct or intermediated via domestic banks), 



making the participation of these countries in the global financial system more 

vulnerable to shifts in expectations and perceptions. For example, the series of 

international financial crises in 1997-1998 brought sharply into focus the risks 

and costs associated with underdeveloped fixed-income securities markets, in 

particular, that underdeveloped domestic bond markets have encouraged 

excessive reliance on foreign and domestic bank financing.  The crisis of the 

2000s also underlined the risks and costs associated with excessive reliance on 

bond markets and, in particular, on external debt denominated in foreign 

exchange or linked to foreign currency.  

As a consequence, a policy shift took place during the 2000s so as to avoid 

or reduce some of the previous vulnerabilities.  

First, all emerging countries 

tried to reduce both their global level of external indebtedness and their level of 

short term debt. Changes in debt composition, maturities and structure have been 

witnessed in all the asset class. The reduction of debt maturities has been 

particularly impressive in Russia, relative to the total of domestic debt, but this 

trend could also be observed in other emerging markets (Graph 8). Exchange rate-

indexed debt also has been reduced, the most impressive case being Brazil where 

the share of such indexed debt in total public debt fell from 37 per cent in 2002, 

the year of the crisis, to 2.3 per cent at the start of 2006. However, the reallocation 

towards more local currency debt is also inducing a change in the risk profile of 

sovereign issuers. Foreign currency debt is decreasing, although this meant in 

some countries that debt maturity became shorter

15

 (even if things are changing 



quickly as some other emerging bond issuers are starting to be able to issue bonds 

in local currencies with maturities now over ten years as for example Mexico). 

                                                      

14

 



Initially mainly banks loans but later also foreign currency bonds.  

15

 



See for details on this trade-off between debt maturity risks and debt currency risks 

(Blommestein, 2005; and Alfaro and Kanczuk, 2006). Recently, however, some countries were 

also successful in securing longer maturities.    

14

Global Economy Journal, Vol. 7 [2007], Iss. 2, Art. 2

http://www.bepress.com/gej/vol7/iss2/2



G

RAPH 


8:

 

S



HORT 

T

ERM 



D

OMESTIC 


D

EBT IN 


E

MERGING 


M

ARKETS


 

 


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